This is What an Overwhelmed Mom Looks Like

This is What an Overwhelmed Mom Looks Like

I snapped this photo to remember this moment when I realized I was totally an overwhelmed mom, and even if I was #blessed, life was also really really hard.

I was a little over 24 hours into being a mom of three, and I was already an overwhelmed mom.

After a long long long labor, I gave birth to twins, and within a day brought them home to my 2-year-old daughter.

I had no idea WITAF I was doing.

I’d like to say that being a completely overwhelmed mom was due to the fact that I had twins, but to be honest, I was just as overwhelmed when I brought my first home from the hospital too.

No matter how seasoned, or new, of a mom you are, whenever you bring new life into this world, your life changes too.

With that change comes not just an emotional overwhelm, either from the postpartum hormones or just all the feels, but also a feeling of intense overwhelm trying to figure out how to make all the things work together now.

When you have kids, a lot of what keeps the peace in the home and your sanity is your routines.

There are periods of upheaval and difficulty, like illness or teething, but for the most part, you fall into patterns that help everyone stay on a somewhat even keel.

Nothing messes up a routine like a new baby and makes you feel more overwhelmed.

New babies have routines and minds all of their own.

In those first few days and weeks of being a new mom, or becoming a mom again with a new baby, you can easily become an overwhelmed mom trying to get to know this new little one.

There is not one single cure for the overwhelmed mom.

At some point, all of us will become frazzled and pushed to our limits, and for different reasons.

Sometimes it’s a new baby. Sometimes it’s a baby becoming a toddler. Sometimes it’s a threenager. Sometimes it’s not even the kids, but our partner stressing us out.

But eventually, you realize you’re hardcore on that strugglebus and need to get off fast.

If there is one panacea for being overwhelmed it is this… admitting it.

How often do you see other moms on Instagram, at Target, at the bus stop, at your kid’s ballet class, or maybe at the park and think that they have it all together? They’re really nailing this whole mom thing.

The truth is, they probably look at you and think the same thing.

We have been trained not to bother others with our needs or our feelings. We have been trained to act like we have it all together and aren’t overwhelmed moms when we don’t. We’ve been trained to pretend we aren’t overwhelmed when we are drowning.

The idea that we might be feeling overwhelmed by motherhood, even just for a day, even just for an hour, is full of so much shame for most of us, we can’t even admit it.

I have no problem divulging my feelings here on this very public blog post, but when it comes to “real” life, ya know like in-person real life with friends and people I know, I clam up.

It’s oddly easier to share with a big group of people than to share with an individual.

Last weekend my daughter had her first ballet recital. I was a little worried she might freeze up because she was being shy about practicing her routine in front of people.

But when she walked on that stage, she beamed! She hit every mark and totally rocked it, even though she’s only 5!

See, when you perform or share for a big group, even when you are being “vulnerable” there is a mask that is up. There is still some separation. You can’t be truly intimate with too many people at a time.

And this happens in social media too. We share memes that joke about how tired we are because it’s easier to turn it into a joke.

But what if you were able to just open up to one person about how overwhelmed you really were? Or maybe even just admit it to yourself?

A lot of times acknowledging that my life is a shitshow and I don’t know what I’m doing helps me get a bit recentered.

Admitting my low point helps me start figuring out how to get back on track, and when I admit it to someone else there are a couple things that happen.

The first is I realize that even though we are all adults, we still all kind of feel like we are kids who don’t know WTF is going on…

The second is we realize that we *might* have been catastrophizing things in our head. Making a mountain out of a molehill. Shaming ourselves to the nth degree instead when things are that bad.

Of course, the pressures of motherhood are huge, and yes we do get overwhelmed. But when you bring yourself back to reality, you realize that the overwhelming might be all in your head because you try to do it all at once.

Maybe you can just focus on the next thing you can do right now?

What do you think, mama? What helps you when you’re feeling like a totally overwhelmed mom? Share in the comments below!

Cluster Feeding Tips to Survive Your Newborn Feeding Every Hour

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When Your Birth Plan Changes

When Your Birth Plan Changes

Birth is complicated, and it’s so common for your birth plan to changes. But the fact that curveballs are bound to come your way during birth is the biggest reason you NEED a birth plan.

When I was pregnant with my first, I had an extremely detailed birth plan, and that birth plan totally changed. Thrown out the window. But I don’t for one second regret creating it.

I cried during my childbirth, but not because of pain. No, I had been dealing with a lot of pain for about a week.  I was crying as I was getting an epidural. 

Ever since I saw Ricki Lake’s documentary, The Business of Being Born, I knew I wanted a natural childbirth. I was dead set against birthing in a hospital.

In fact, my number one choice was to birth at home, but if that didn’t work I would go to a birth center that was unattached from a hospital.

Well, needless to say, from the very beginning, it didn’t go quite as planned.

This is my birth story, and I’m going to tell you why I still think it’s important to have a birth plan, even if it doesn’t go as expected.

 

My Birth Plan

Let me start by telling you my preparations.

I chose my care provider carefully and settled on a local midwifery that had both a freestanding birth center and connections to a hospital so they could accompany me to the hospital if I would need to be transferred in case of an emergency. It seemed like the best of both natural and medical options to fall back on. 

I read some of the most influential natural birth books out there. I watched natural birth videos. I hired a doula. I took the Hypnobabies course to help with natural birth. I made a birth plan. I even set up a plan for having my placenta encapsulated.

There is no one else on the planet aside from maybe a doula or midwife who was as prepared as I was for my natural childbirth.

Maybe I would even be one of those lucky women who had an orgasmic birth!

But Birth Plans Change

The problem is… Birth is not math. There’s no magical equation to ensure that it works out perfectly every time. In fact, it’s almost guaranteed that at least one thing will not go as planned.

That’s life.

Since birth is the process of bringing a human life into this world it only makes sense that you’re going to be thrown a curveball here and there.

I started having contractions early in the week of November 16.

At around 11 pm they would start and go all night but never get close together or rhythmic and would end when the sun came up. By Thursday I was pretty sure I was in active labor. So I went in to have my midwife check me, and I was 2-3 cm and 100% effaced.

Throughout that and the next night, the contractions would come and go, giving me no more than 15-30 minute stretches of sleep. Oh, and did I mention it was all back labor? Yeah.

My doula worked with me on various techniques to help get the baby into a better position to hopefully speed things up and get the pressure off my back. None of it worked.

Late Friday into early Saturday morning I again had the contractions get pretty close and consistent, 3-5 minutes apart for over an hour. So I called the doula and midwife and we headed to the birth center. 

I had progressed to 5-6 cm so we stayed, but guess what… By the time the sun came up, my labor had stopped again. 

At this point, I was exhausted from not sleeping all night. So my midwife gave me a sleep aid and sent me home to rest. The hope was my body just needed to recharge to take on the big task of pushing this kid out. So I was able to sleep most of the day, but again the contractions picked up over the night and ended in the morning.

It was now Sunday morning. We made a trip to the hospital just to get hooked up to some monitors and make sure the baby was doing well after all this stress, and yes she was doing great. Again I went home after some discussion about potentially breaking my water if things didn’t progress soon.

I got home. Showered and took another sleep aid, but less than an hour later I woke up to the most intense contractions yet.

My doula came over and we decided to head to the birth center. I had decided that either this was the real deal or I was going to go ahead with the midwife breaking my water because I was totally exhausted. 

Luckily we got there, and just when the midwife walked into the room to break my water, it broke on its own!

 

Managing Discomfort During a Long Labor

Let me pause right here to give a big shoutout to Hypnobabies, a program that teaches moms how to have a pain-free childbirth.

If you don’t know what it is, it’s a self-hypnosis/meditation technique that is used to have comfortable childbirth.

It wasn’t easy and I wasn’t comfortable for every minute of this birthing process because it was so start and stop, but without Hypnobabies, I would have been begging for an epidural on Day 1 instead of being able to naturally progress as far as I did.

Eventually, I did start making progress after my water broke, but once I got to 9cm it stopped again… I felt like I was so close and wasn’t ready to throw in the towel and head to the hospital yet. But after still a few more hours and no more progress, I agreed to go to the hospital for pitocin.

Now that I am a mom of three, I can look back on this first birth and think based on the many birth stories I have heard since, that if I would have held out just a little longer, maybe I would have starting progressing again on my own. But at the time I was a first-time mom and I was less sure of myself and my ability to natural birth a baby.

I think that’s why I chose to get an epidural and pitocin. It felt more certain than continuing to wait, and wait, and wait.

99% of birth is a mindgame. You can handle the discomfort, but the battle you’re really fighting is in your mind because it gets scary at times. That’s why even though my birth didn’t go exactly as I intended, I still totally support having a well though out birth plan because it helps you visualize what might happen so you are as prepared as possible.

It’s also why the Hypnobabies techniques were so helpful. When I was in the zone with them, I felt great physically, emotionally, and mentally.

Choosing a New Plan

Since I wasn’t getting my natural birth center birth and I was a bit afraid of how the pitocin would make me feel, I opted for an epidural.

We got to the hospital by 9pm on Sunday night and had the pitocin and epidural running by 10 pm. It still wasn’t until 5am that I was ready to push.

This kid apparently didn’t want to come out at all.

My uterus must be super cozy. My midwife and I actually discussed the possibility of going to a c-section if I wasn’t ready to push by around 5am, but luckily I was! 

The pushing was super hard work, but my daughter came into the world at 6:54 am Monday morning. 

Even though the baby and I came through this healthy and happy, it took me a while to really deal with the fact that my birth wasn’t the natural birth I had planned.

I did everything right! But my body and the baby just had other plans.

 

So, why do I still think it is so important to have a birth plan? 

I can now say that I am happy with the decisions I made during my birth because even though it wasn’t my ideal birth, I was well informed. I had thought through all the possibilities beforehand and knew what my options were. I wasn’t really thrown by the change of plans because I had planned for a change of plans as a possibility.

I also had a team and partner I trusted to help me make the decisions, and choosing that team was part of my initial planning when creating a birth plan.

Having a birth plan is so important for women to use as a way to think through all the things that could happen during birth and make a plan for them. The birth plan isn’t just about outlining your ideal birth.

It’s also about deciding when and how you will make hard decisions if they come up, and giving your care providers a clear sense of how you want them to interact with you.

Even if you are having a c-section or a hospital birth with a planned epidural, I still recommend this.

Also, it isn’t just about the birth itself, but the time directly after the birth. It sets up your expectations of how your baby will be handled, and I don’t know about you, but I don’t want anyone else deciding what happens to my baby directly after I just did all that work to bring her here (assuming no major emergency).

So I’m going to leave you with a quote because no matter whether you have a birth plan, don’t have a birth plan, had a picture-perfect birth, or it was a hot mess. This really sums up how I would love for all women to approach their birth.

“Women, don’t ever apologize for your behavior or choices during birth. When you OWN your experience and take pride in your journey, you help other women do the same thing. No matter how you did it, you just brought a human being into the world! The world should be kneeling at your feet.” -Lauralyn Curtis

Cluster Feeding Tips to Survive Your Newborn Feeding Every Hour

Cluster Feeding Tips to Survive Your Newborn Feeding Every Hour

Want more breastfeeding tips? Find us on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest.facebookinstagrampinterest Got a stage 5 clinger who won't let go of your boob? Like your nipple feels like it's now permanently attached to your little squish? You've got a cluster feeder....

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10 Must-Read Mom Blogs with Tips for New Moms

10 Must-Read Mom Blogs with Tips for New Moms

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by all those tips for new moms on all the mom blogs, this is for you.

Here are 10 awesome blog posts from mom blogs I found to help you get started on your journey to becoming a new mama, with the best tips for new moms.

Learn the old wives’ tales for predicting if it’s a boy or girl

Even if you plan to keep your baby’s gender a surprise until birth, it’s fun to play with these old wives’ tales. I must admit, I’ve tried a few of them!

Read this post from Momma McGovern on 10 old wives’ tales for predicting gender.

Learn to relax

I used Hypnobabies to have a natural birth and can vouch first-hand for the power of relaxation during childbirth. It is so helpful in attaining whatever your birth goals are!

Bethany Dykman breaks down why you should learn how to relax while pregnant, one of the best tips for new moms, in this post on Strength Love Birth.

Prepare for witching hour

The witching hour. OMG. It’s so hard. But Laura Epstein from the Messy Bun Life shares some sanity-saving tips for new moms to survive the witching hour with a newborn.

Create a visual birth plan

If you want your birth team to have a super easy to reference document with your birth preferences clearly outlined, then consider a visual birth plan.

Check out one of the best posts from the mom blogs I’ve seen on creating a visual birth plan from Messy Buns and Mom Jeans.

Get registered

It’s only natural that on a list of mom blogs, we include this one right?

Amazon is our favorite place to get your baby registry started, and we talk all about why in this post. Plus, I walk you through a short video of how to navigate and add to your baby registry on Amazon.

(You can also head right over to Amazon to start your registry right now.)

Have a scheduled C-section?

Whether it’s your ideal birth or not, a C-section is a serious surgery, and it can be a bit intimidating, to say the least. But you can learn from mamas who have been there.

Read this post from Motherhood in May to prep. Learn the best ways to prepare for a scheduled C-section, what to expect during the procedure, and how to start healing afterward.

Start thinking about postpartum

If you’re like me, you didn’t really think much about postpartum until you were smack dab in the middle of it, which can be a super challenging time. Not a lot of people warn you about what to expect and how to cope.

Luckily, My Mom Crew was able to chat with an OB-GYN about warning signs when it comes to postpartum. In this post, they share what is totally normal during postpartum recovery and when to start to worry.

I love this one because a lot of mom blogs don’t have expert advice to lean on.

Sleep tips you don’t read on all mom blogs!

Babies don’t sleep.

Ok. They actually sleep a ton usually! It’s just not always at the times we want them to sleep, which leads to the mombie. You know, the overtired mom who barely functions because our brains have been hijacked by adorable tiny humans and sleep deprivation?

Check out this post from Mommy N’ More with some awesome and totally realistic tips on how to deal with newborn sleep.

Breastfeeding + Working

Breastfeeding is hard enough, but add working outside the home to the mix? That can get tough. I remember the days of sneaking out of meetings ASAP to relieve some pressure.

But with a plan and the right tools it is absolutely doable. After successfully pumping at work for over a year with my first, I can say I love these tips from This Mom Life, and think they are essential tips for new moms at work.

All the newborn tips

When you become a new mom and finally bring that baby home, you will start asking questions you never ever thought of before.

Hopefully, these awesome 21 newborn tips from Real Mom Recs will get you ahead of the game.

No matter how many mom blogs you read, you are never fully prepared to become a new mom. But hopefully, these tips from new moms in these awesome posts will help ease the transition just a little.

Cluster Feeding Tips to Survive Your Newborn Feeding Every Hour

Cluster Feeding Tips to Survive Your Newborn Feeding Every Hour

Want more breastfeeding tips? Find us on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest.facebookinstagrampinterest Got a stage 5 clinger who won't let go of your boob? Like your nipple feels like it's now permanently attached to your little squish? You've got a cluster feeder....

What Kind of Pregnancy Test Should I Buy?

What Kind of Pregnancy Test Should I Buy?

Think you're pregnant or trying to conceive? You're probably wondering what kind of pregnancy test should I buy? These 5 questions will help you choose which is best for you, and we'll give you our pick for the best one. So you can answer the question for yourself on...

Paced Feeding Your Breastfed Baby

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Want to give your breastfed baby a bottle, but worried about them starting to prefer the bottle over breast? Paced feeding is a great way to initiate bottle feeding, and I'll share how and why I chose paced feeding with my breastfed babies. I've breastfed for over 6...

3 First Month Pregnancy Tips to Start Off on a Good Foot

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Our 10 Most Viewed Posts of 2019

Our 10 Most Viewed Posts of 2019

Another year over, and a new one about to begin. As I write this it is 8:21pm on December 31, 2019. We are about to start a new decade. Like so many others, we are taking a minute to look back first. These are our top 10 viewed posts of 2019 here at Mom Uprising. They...

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Tired? Stressed? Ready to let it all go and start putting yourself first? Let's do it, mama. Get started with these 10 self-care inspiration posts we totally love. It's easy to get stuck in a rut, and sometimes just a simple image can break you out of your stickiness...

The Best Way to Breastfeed Twins

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6 Self-Care Blogs Moms Should Follow

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In a bit of a self-care rut and need some inspo? These 6 self-care blogs will give you a little push to get yourself back into some super helpful self-care practices that work for you. I thought my self-care game was on point, but just perusing through these blogs I...

Breastfeeding Newborn Tips to Make Breastfeeding Easier

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